Oral Health and Preventing the Spread of Illness
We all know how it starts, a sneeze here, a sniffle there, then BOOM you're sick. Once it is confirmed that you or your child has the flu it's important to take the proper precautions to ensure the illness does not spread. This applies to all illnesses and not just the flu but since the flu has been so prevalent this season we will focus on how to stop it from spreading and when to cancel your appointment.
Limiting interaction with others during an illness also significantly reduces the effortless transmission of the virus. We have heard that many people do not enjoy going to the dentist (which we don’t understand because we are so cool) but going to the dentist while sick can be very uncomfortable. Having a fever can make you tired and restless, moreover, stuffy noses make it difficult to keep your mouth open for treatment. If you or your child has had a fever in the last 24 hours we ask that you contact our office and cancel any appointments for cleanings or dental treatment.
You're contagious 1 day before you experience any symptoms and can stay contagious up to 7 days. Children can spread the flu even longer, possibly until all their symptoms have disappeared completely.1 Getting the flu shot is the best way to help ease the duration and discomfort of the flu. Proper hygiene such as hand washing is also imperative to control spreading germs. Spend a Saturday washing or disinfecting backpacks, lunch boxes, coats, headphones, and anything else that accompanies your child to school. On the home front make sure to wash blankets, sheets, pillows, and best friends (stuffed animals).
Dr. Gina Hanafi recommends changing your toothbrush every 3 months but she points out that it is crucial to change your toothbrush immediately following illness. If you are a patient and in need of replacement toothbrushes just stop by the office and we will provide a replacement.
Please call our office if you experience an unbearable toothache or dental trauma while sick. We will be able to suggest ways to alleviate pain and discomfort until you're feeling better and able to be seen in the office.
1. WebMD. (2018). How Long Is the Flu Contagious?. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/how-long-flu-contagious [Accessed 1 Feb. 2018].